The Supreme Court has directed that the floor test be held in the Karnataka Assembly at 4 p.m. on Saturday to ascertain the support Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa enjoys, slashing the time given to him by Governor Vajubhai Vala to prove his majority following a split verdict.
The court also barred Yeddyurappa from taking any policy decisions till the floor test.
While Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leaders hailed the court order, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders still expressed confidence of proving the majority in the curtailed time span.
The Congress and JD-S, which formed a post-poll coalition and staked claim to form the government, have shifted their newly-elected MLAs to Hyderabad from Bengaluru to prevent any poaching by the BJP.
The court rejected Yeddyurappa’s plea, made through senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, asking for at least a week’s time to face the floor test.
A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri, Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice Ashok Bhushan said the pro tem speaker, the seniormost member of the Assembly, would administer the newly-elected members their oath and then conduct the floor test.
The court also junked Attorney General K.K. Venugopal’s suggestion that the floor test be conducted through secret ballot.
BJP legislative party leader Yeddyurappa was on Thursday morning sworn in as the Chief Minister after the May 12 election threw up a hung Assembly.
The BJP won 104 of the 222 seats, falling eight short of the 112-halfway mark. The Congress bagged 78 seats and the JD-S 37.
The court also restrained the nomination of an Anglo-Indian member. The court directed the Karnataka Director General of Police to personally ensure security of the newly-elected lawmakers. Following the apex court order, Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru that he was confident of proving his legislative majority.